The Sideshow

Umbrella-toting Marines protect Obama, Turkish PM from raindrops

The Sideshow

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When you're the president of the United States, you don't hold your own umbrella. Highly trained Marines do it for you.

There was an unexpected bit of rain during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.

As drops fell on the two world leaders, President Barack Obama asked for some protection from the elements. "Why don't we get a couple of Marines," he said. "They're gonna look good next to us. Just 'cuz I've got a change of suits, but I don't know about our prime minister. There we go. [Gestures to press.] You guys, I'm sorry about."

Two dedicated Marines swooped in like hawks, open umbrellas at the ready. Those attending the news conference were presumably on their own.

The mockery began on Twitter almost immediately. One self-identified conservative posted a picture with a caption reading: "OBAMA CALLS IN MARINES TO HOLD HIS UMBRELLA."

But umbrella etiquette isn't new. Some might say it's a bipartisan issue. Behold Ronald and Nancy Reagan getting a rainy day assist from a member of the White House staff.

Others on Twitter extended their sympathy to the Marines tasked with the unenviable job.

CNN reports that Marines being asked to hold umbrellas is "extremely rare," according to Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Greg Wolf. For one, it makes it difficult for the Marines to properly salute.

After several minutes, Obama judged the rain to have passed and asked the Marines to return to their posts.


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President Barack Obama decides he no longer needs umbrella help. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

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